With the pastimes of this summer now but a blissful memory, the city of London is preparing itself for the abrupt change in weather, which of course means one thing; Christmas is rapidly approaching. In celebration of this truly magical time of the year, The Wellington Lounge at the Intercontinental will once again be hosting its enchanting Christmas Afternoon Tea; which I can faithfully assure you is quite unlike anything you will have experienced before. This afternoon tea has been lovingly and carefully designed, to perfectly capture the spirit of the beloved Christmas Carol ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’ from which this afternoon tea draws extensive inspiration.
On approaching the inviting Wellington Lounge it is easy to forget the hustle and bustle of chaotic Christmas shopping taking place on your doorstep in central London. Allow yourself to soak up the calming atmosphere of the lounge; as you sit back in your deep, comfortable chairs taking in the beautiful modern decor of your immediate surroundings. From the onset of our visit, we were made to feel not only full of Christmas joy, but cared for. When seated, our waitress provided us with a detailed overview of what would be served on this afternoon tea, which began to tantalize our taste buds. Following from here we then selected our teas from a comprehensive range which included White, Black and Oolong teas. We would suggest selecting the Wellington Lounge’s unique black teas created by the executive chief Paul Bates: Number One Park Lane and Wellington Blend.
The afternoon tea was presented on a three tier white and silver stand. We were advised to begin with the Mountbatten estate partridge, morel mushroom and foie gras pie because they are served warm, straight from the oven. Proceeding to the bottom tier we enjoyed the following delicate, crust-less finger sandwiches decorated with fresh watercress: Squab and wood Pigeon, Speyside salmon and the Lords of the hundreds cheese and finally Hens egg mayonnaise with cucumber on an assortment of breads. This tier was very flavoursome, and certainly gave us a unique opportunity to try ingredients that are far from everyday. On completion of this course, we were then given our freshly baked sultana and buttermilk scones, with Devon clotted cream and strawberry persevere. The scones were faultless with a charming aroma. The top tier of the stand was an extremely descendent affair filled with the following stunning desserts: Walnut powder crusted chocolate torte, Strawberry filled choux bun, air dried raspberry, Three milk flan, cranberry and mandarin compote, Golden treacle tart, Chantilly and gold leaf. Although, we cannot agree on a favourite dessert we can agree that the novelty, and imagination behind the desserts for example the swan shaped choux bun and walnut powered chocolate torte with a drum to name but two further confirm why this is such a special afternoon tea to enjoy in the holiday season.